Seattle and Portland get all the attention when it comes to coffee, but just because it’s hot down here doesn’t mean the South can’t do coffee right, too.
When you’re passing through Georgia, you may be surprised just how much coffee there is and how good it can be. But knowing which Atlanta coffee shops are the best, well, that’s a different story.
Let’s clear things up.
Whether you’re an ATL newbie or just visiting the city, here’s your guide to the best coffee shops in Atlanta.
The 16 Best Atlanta Coffee Shops (ATL)
Finding coffee in the metro Atlanta area is easy, almost too easy!
If you’re looking for the very best near you, however, sorting through the bulk to find the choicest beans can be a bit of a chore. Consider this list your tasting guide next time you’re in Atlanta — or the ultimate coffee bingo blackout challenge.
1. Dancing Goats
The goats aren’t the only ones who want to dosey-doe at the Dancing Goats Coffee Bar.
The name plays homage to the legend of Kaldi the goat herder — the 15th-century man who supposedly “discovered” coffee after seeing his goats abuzz after chewing the cherries off the plant. Their roastery is committed to making history with low-impact, sustainable practices.
The original Dancing Goats roastery in Washington was the first in the U.S. to be 100% green-powered and put power back into the grid. In Olympia and Atlanta, they’re now approaching near-zero landfill waste by composting and recycling nearly 100% of the materials they use.
With three locations across Atlanta alone, you can easily stop in for a Toddy (a.k.a cold brew) and beans to take home with you. Or pick up a Chilly Goat Chai. He’s chilly because it’s iced.
You can see what the goats are dancing about in Buckhead near the Peachtree Farmers Market, Midtown, and Ponce City Market. (Fun fact for Atlanta transplants: it was the first business to open up shop in Ponce City Market.)
2. Prevail Union
Giving back at this coffee shop means more than tipping.
Locals Megan and Wade Preston wanted to make a space for connection that also allowed them to give back to others around the world. So they gathered solid coffee experience and opened a shop. They also became a wholesale roaster.
You can stop in on Brady Ave. for classic coffee and tea drinks or try something interesting, like a Fig or Honey Vanilla Beet Latte. It’s sleek, modern, and the perfect place for getting a little work done or cooling down on a hot day.
3. Condesa Coffee
It’s hard not to appreciate a shop that advertises itself with “kind people” before “specialty coffee.” But don’t worry, the coffee’s really good here, too.
More than just a coffee shop, Condesa Coffee is all about those little extras and fine details like house-made chocolate syrup and a well-loved Ethiopian pour-over.
Condesa is in the Old Fourth Ward, near the Jackson Street Bridge. Stop in for an iced coffee break or a hot sandwich as you ride the Freedom Parkway Bike Trail. The rustic-industrial-meets-chic-cafe vibes will cool you down even better than the shaken espresso drinks.
4. Chrome Yellow Trading Co.
This one-stop shop makes purchasing “dry goods” much cooler than it sounds.
A little hipster (but in all the best ways), this shop is a local favorite — and not just because you can pick up a nitro cold brew, journals, and coffee beans in one go.
Chrome Yellow Trading Co. looks like a converted warehouse with simple industrial furniture, but you’ll actually want to get your work done here. And you’ll probably be more efficient here than in a real office.
So if you’re breezing through Atlanta, or just moved, stop in at Edgewood Ave. and pick up a Chocolate Oat Coldbrew bottle to go.
5. Aurora Coffee
Aurora was Atlanta’s first specialty coffee shop and one of its earliest independent coffee shops, and it hasn’t been forgotten.
Opened by a Seattle transplant in 1992, Aurora proves Atlanta can hold its own in the coffee scene.
Skip the traditional espresso drinks on your first visit and try something off of the Bear Menu, which features drinks that are half iced coffees, half flavored milks. A polar bear (with peppermint and white chocolate) will cool you down in the Atlanta heat.
Aurora is just one of many independent and slightly alternative shops in the Little Five Points (L5P) district. You won’t want to miss a visit here.
6. Urban Grind
This is the kind of urban grind you’ll want to experience.
This Black-owned, independent cafe is a true-blue haven of coffeehouse culture. It’s cozy, it’s welcoming, and the vibe — and grind — is just right.
Escape the daily grind in West Midtown with a latte and stay late for art exhibits, poetry, discussion groups, and other events. The coffee drinks are traditional but always delicious. They pair well with the fresh paninis, too.
It has all the comfort of being at home, with all the comfort of not having to clean up.
7. Brash Coffee
This roaster won’t be brash when filling your order. In fact, they’re pretty thoughtful when sourcing their beans, roasting, and preparing a cup of coffee. They even visit individual coffee farms, because they’re serious about making connections (and really good coffee).
You can find their flagship shop made out of two repurposed shipping containers in the happening Westside Provisions District in West Midtown.
Or enjoy the ample seating in Buckhead or natural lighting in Midtown. There’s even a wee shop at the Atlanta History Center.
At any location, it’s a good place to grab coffee and a snack.
8. Ebrik Coffee
Although you can’t walk into the Ebrik Coffee Room anymore, Ebrik is still serving ATLians some seriously delicious coffee you can brew at home.
Enjoy fresh beans from a locally-owned, community-minded roaster. You can even sign up for a coffee subscription and keep a little taste of Atlanta in your home. Orders of over $25 ship free.
9. TanBrown Coffee
What happens when two Asian Americans in coffee are tired of the industry? They make their own shop.
TanBrown is all about community and coffee. They roast every Thursday (and ship promptly on Friday). They highlight Asian coffees in particular.
You can order their coffee online or find them popping up here and there around Atlanta.
10. East Pole Coffee Co
This wholesale coffee roaster and bar is the perfect place to relax and get a little work done, or finally write that novel.
With natural lighting, high ceilings, and lots of cozy wood furnishings, you’ll want to pass the whole day here. That’s easy to do if you go on the right day; they offer free weekly cuppings to the public.
Stop in for a specialty drip coffee, pour over, latte, or other classic espresso drinks. East Pole Coffee Co. is located at Armour Yards and Poncey-Highland.
You can also get in on the coffee club fun. Their clubs run on the cheaper side, from $15-35 (unless you buy in commercial bulk) and some include perks like a free coffee with each refill.
11. Hodgepodge Coffee House
Hodgepodge Coffee House is basically a combination coffee shop, art gallery, consignment shop, and food market. You can pick up groceries, healthy prepared meals, and some seriously smooth coffee all in one place.
This Black woman-owned business offers craft coffee and scratch-baked goods. Even with 1000 feet of gallery space and 500 feet of market space, there’s still plenty of seating to sit and relax a little while you take in the art on the walls.
Enjoy a little southern charm with a Bless Your Heart (Ghiradelli Caramel and French Vanilla) latte or Slap Yo Pappy (cold brew, half and half, and Ghiradelli chocolate). Both go well with popovers and Jamaican patties.
Hodgepodge is located in Ormewood Park (Hodgepodge South). But you can also catch Hodgepodge East in Decatur, which will soon have its own market.
12. Taproom Coffee
This taproom is here for everyone. With both specialty coffee and craft beer on tap, Taproom Coffee & Beer is the best place to grab a drink with friends and make everyone happy.
They now have their own sister roaster company, Opo Coffee, which supplies their fresh, locally roasted beans. Many of Taproom’s beers come from local Atlanta breweries. Even their pastries and much of their food comes from nearby Alon’s Bakery.
Taproom is also a Leading Living Wage for US employers, meaning they commit to paying employees fair living wages.
Whether you’re a nitro cold brew or fresh porter on tap kind of person, you’re in good company here. Just be sure to bring a few friends to hang with.
13. Land Of A Thousand Hills
Although not exclusive to Atlanta, this (and any) Land of a Thousand Hills coffee shop is worth stopping by.
This do-good coffee org. started as a way to shore up Rwanda’s floundering coffee industry after it collapsed in the wake of the country’s civil war in 1994.
They’re still going strong today, working with farmers, paying fair wages, and supporting projects that help farming communities in Rwanda. It’s coffee with a purpose.
Stop in for great drinks, a snack, and an inviting atmosphere. You can find them on Peachtree, Midtown, Spring Street, the historic Flatiron building, Old Fourth Ward, and Roswell.
14. Academy Coffee
This specialty coffee shop likes to mix it up. Specifically, Academy uses culinary and mixology techniques to “reference” flavors from all over the world since they’re “constantly pushing the boundaries of (their) palates.”
As you can imagine, their specialty drinks list is pretty unique with options like:
- Brigadoon: iced espresso tonic with blackberry, pink peppercorn, and scotch syrup
- Shoto Style: iced latte with chamomile habanero honey and cherry-saffron bitters
- White Lightnin’: ginger beer with espresso and tiki bitters
Give these or another weird-but-surprisingly-good Academy original a try.
The Academy offers individual and team coffee training, too, so don’t be afraid to bring some knowledge home with you after you visit Academy Coffee on Virginia Avenue (by the Virginia Highlands).
15. Moonbird Coffee
Perched on the second floor of a stunning black building above Southbound Restaurant on Peachtree Road, Moonbird Coffee is a haven in the clouds for coffee lovers.
Exposed brick and wood furniture make for a relaxed, cool interior. You may have trouble deciding if you’d rather make it your second office or your preferred reading spot. The outdoor seating on the patio is even cooler since you can watch passersby on the street below while you sip.
Drinks are classic, but delicious, in this nurturing nest of a hangout. Enjoy a great cup of coffee, pastry, or breakfast burrito and tweet your heart out, Moonbird.
16. Cafe Comma
Cafe Comma is one of the better coffee shops in Atlanta to get a cold brew and avocado toast to start your day. If you can say no to something more exciting like fig and ricotta toast or a black sugar latte, that is.
The offerings are relatively simple — specialty toasts and (mostly) traditional coffee drinks — but that’s on purpose. Cafe Comma wants to move away from “fast” goods and services, back to the slower, calmer coffee shop experience the modern cafe was built on.
Of course, the retro vibes stop at the espresso. The interior is minimalist, but bright with lots of open space. It’s the perfect place to pause and reflect. While sipping an ice-cold latte.
Step into the oasis on Vinings Slope and don’t be afraid to stay awhile.